Cleveland Cavaliers (7-16, 3-9 road) vs. OKC Thunder (16-8, 7-4 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.3 (12th), Cavs – 101.1 (29th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 108.1 (18th), Cavs – 110.6 (24th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.2 (13th), Cavs – 92.9 (15th)
View from the enemy: Cavs: The Blog
The Cavaliers come in as one of the worst teams the Thunder’s seen this season. OKC has played bad teams this season though and the game has been close. But they had some talent. With the Cavs, that’s a bit debatable.
The Cavs will quit if you give them the opportunity. Byron Scott has tweaked the lineup and rotation some and had them playing a little harder recently, but this team just has not been clicking in any way ever since LeBron came in and beat them down.
Cleveland coming in: The Cavs are losers of seven straight and last played last night in Houston, a loss of course.
You pick the spot, and I feel like OKC has an edge. Maybe Anderson Varejao has something on Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic – if Krstic plays and depending on where Varejao plays – but Varejao is just a high energy player, not necessarily someone to fear on the low block. Maybe that’s my extreme case of homerism speaking, but I just fee like down the line, the Thunder’s better.
Thing is, Varejao is now playing the 5 for Cleveland as Antwan Jamison has moved into the starting lineup. And while Jamison is a nice player, he’s been slightly disgruntled with his role off the bench to start the season and hasn’t been his old self.
Mo Williams is a scoring point guard so he’s dangerous from outside, but Russell Westbrook should be able to get into the paint when he wants. Daniel Gibson is someone to keep an eye on because he’s a threat to hit four or five 3s, but Thabo is of course an above-average perimeter defender. Kevin Durant will be matched with Anthony Parker and really, this should be an opportunity for KD to get some looks shooting over the smaller Parker.
The Cavs really just don’t have players to go to for points. Jamison is the only legit scorer and Jeff Green really matches him pretty well because they’re similar players. So as long as OKC keeps the Cavs off the glass and Cleveland doesn’t catch fire from outside, we might just see an easy win for once.
But don’t count on that. We should know that by now with this Thunder team, nothing seems to come easy.
Tip at 6:00 CT. Go Home Team.